9th March 2008
The following are the responsibilities in our diocese of Kokstad;
Vicar General; Fr Richard Kugber Kasin.
a. The Consultors, Fr Mariano, Fr Peter, Fr Lucas, Fr Francis, Fr Joseph, Fr Lizo.
b. The Chancellor, Fr Joseph.
c. St Anne’s Sodality, Fr Lucas Bambezela
d. Liturgy, Fr Sizwe Mkhonza.
e. Sacred Heart Sodality, Fr Sizwe Mkhonza
f. Amadodana, Fr Silindile Yalezo.
g. Abantwana BakaMaria , Fr Thabang Letsohla.
h. Legion of Mary, Fr Thabang Letsohla
j. Vocation Director of the Diocese, Fr Lizo Nontshe.
k. Editor of the INKWENKWEZI, Fr Lizo Nontshe.
l. The Amadodakazi, Fr Aaron Nakufa.
m. Amajoni kaKristu uKumkani , Sister Vianney and Fr Sihle Mbhele.
n. Protocol: Fr Mariano and Sister Natalia.
o. Marriage Tribunal Judge, Fr Vincent Bwete.
p. Diocesan Secretary, Mrs Lorna Wicks.
q. Diocesan Pilgrimage of Telgte, Fr Francis Lemao.
r. Catechetical Director of the Diocese, Sr Beauty Mkhandlwana.
s. Diocesan Catechetical team, Ms Nombini Mavango, Mr Michael Khumalo, Cecilia Mentz, Mrs Motubudi and Sr Francina.
t. Sinosizo Director, Mrs Patricia Napier. For the full list of the team of Sinosizo Apendix 1.
u. Project Manager, Mr Anthony Ciro.
v. Agricultural Development, Bro Herman.
2. Future events – March
March 10th to 13th priests’ meeting at Coolock House.
9th March, Bishop meets with the Marriage Sodalities in Johannesburg.
11th March, Bishop meets with Pastoral Agencies, Pretoria.
17th March, St Patrick’s Day, Patron of the Diocesan. Bishop will speak at St Patrick School on this day. We will celebrate the Feast later in April.
19th of March, the Mass of Oils at 11 o’clock at the Cathedral, parishioners are welcome; choir, Lusikisiki. Lunch will be served inside for the priests and sisters. From the kitchen for the congregation.
26th of March Metropolitan meeting of Bishops of Durban,
27th March Bishops meet with Religious Superiors of the Metropolitan area.
29th of March, 9.30. The Legion Meeting at Matatiele will meet on the 30th of March Vema Church will be opened. Bishop will also say Mass at Silangwe.
Congratulations to Fr Vincent and his community in completing this work.
1st , Sinosizo meeting Kokstad.
2nd -5th , the Catechetical team of the diocese at Kokstad will train the deanery leaders.
They will introduce them to a new program which has been together by the national catechetical committee. This will be an intensive program for them as persons and as teachers. It is hoped that deanery teams will take this program then to various parishes.
5th, day of recollection for the Little Sisters at Matatiele.
6th , Masses at Cedarville and Lunda.
April 6th – 9th, Meeting of the Sisters of the Diocese at Coolock House.
Sisters are invited to arrive in the evening of the 6th of April, we will return after breakfast of the 9th Wednesday.
13th , Confirmation at Mnikwa.
16th , Day of prayer with the teachers in Matatiele. These are the school teachers who are invited by the Catholic Institute of Education and Mrs Gloria Napier.
20th , Masses at Lugada and Polile.
22nd and 23rd , meeting of the REAP board in Cape Town.
26th , Wedding in the Cathedral.
April 28th, the Diocesan pastoral council to meet in Kokstad. Each priest with PPC Chairperson, Secretary and the Co-Ordinator of the Parish Catechetics.
May 3rd, will be the ordination of Fr Sithembele Sipuka as the bishop of Umtata.
6th – 10th May, The SACBC executive meeting in Pretoria.
11th May, the parish Feast in Bizana, Pentecost.
14th May, The teachers day of retreat in Kokstad.
3. Three new seminarians began studying for Diocesan Priesthood in the Diocese, Mkhuseli Maduna from Cedarville, Zonwabele Mjoki from Bizana and Fidel Balasha from Lusikisiki who will study first year Theology.
4. From November the 26th to the 1st of December the Theology Week took place in Maria Telgte. About 130 leaders participated in a very fruitful week. We express sincere gratitude for Fr Lizo and Fr Yalezo who led the discussions on 2 days. Sister Callista, Michael Khumalo and the Bishop also gave inputs. We thank Fr John for the hospitality and the catering on this occasion.
5. About 80 youth participated in the pilgrimage to Kevelaer from the 3rd to the 7th of December organized by Fr Sihle, Fr Vincent , Fr Melese.
From the 5th to the 8th of December Fr Thabang led the Children of Mary retreat assisted by Sr Khumbuzile Mathe.
6. Christmas dinner was enjoyed by the priests and sisters of the diocese on December the 11th.
7. Congratulations to Fr Thabang and to the parish of Rasheni in Mvenyane on the opening and blessing of the New church on December the 16th .
8. The whole diocese rejoiced in the ordination of our brother Siphelele Gwanisheni who was ordained a Franciscan priest at Bhongweni on the 17th of December. He celebrated his first Mass at his home in Bizana and again great crowds attended.
Again the diocese rejoiced when 5 young women from our diocese took their First Profession as Daughters of Charity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in Matikwe on the 18th of December.
9. Please remember in your prayers our friends who have left us over the last two months. We remember Sister John Vincent who was the member of last community of Holy Cross Sisters here in Kokstad who died in Pretoria at the age of 90. And we pray too for Mr Nohabuza who was one of the leaders of the Community in Lusikisiki who was killed in a car accident and was laid to rest on the 4th of January.
We remember also William Sidoyi who cared for the gardens at Kokstad, and was a very loyal and devoted friend of the community. His funeral took place from the Cathedral.
10. Confirmation was celebrated on the following places of the last two months, at the Cathedral, at Lugada, at Chibini, and Dutyini in Bizana, at Rhasheni, at Mt Ayliff and at Dundee. Congratulations to the priests and the communities who prepared our young Christians for the Sacrament. In each place a confirmation retreat took place before the actual celebration of the Sacrament.
11. The diocese was very happy to be visited by three Mother Generals over the past few weeks. Sr Basil Ndzimande, the General of the Franciscan Sisters of St Francis from Assisi. She brought us the precious gift of Sr Francina and Sr Eusebia. The Sisters have taken residence in Maria Telgte and offer assistance in Catechetics in Pastoral work in Franklin and the Care of our children at Maria Telgte.
Mother General of the Franciscan Nardini Sisters came to visit us. This is her first visit to Kokstad and we are extremely grateful for the community she has sent to work for the Poor and needy. We welcome Sister Antonia who is a second year Novice.
We also welcome Mother General Ingebord of the Precious Blood Sisters who called during her Pastoral visitation of the sisters in South Africa.
12.We very happy that the Precious Blood Sisters have done so much to upgrade St Theresa School in Bizana in the person of Sr Jerome. New classrooms have been added and a Principal’s office.
13.The catechetical team of the diocese led the excellent retreat for catechism teachers here at Kokstad from 1st to the 3rd of February. This was organized in a special way by Sr Callista. And about 120 teachers participated. She was assisted by Nombini Mavango and the Catechetical team.
14.On the 4th of February the priests of the diocese met in Kokstad to consider the question of the catechetics and make sure that we give them sufficient importance in the diocese. We do this by making sure that each station has a number of catechism teachers. We try to make sure that these teachers are properly prepared and that they have books, registers. We priests also promise to support teachers when it comes to reception of the Sacraments. If our teachers tell us that Children have not attended we must support our teachers and postpone these children’s reception of the sacraments no matter whom their parents are.
We agreed that for baptism to take place there must be a security that the child will be raised in the faith. Classes must be offered for all parents requesting baptism for their children. The RCIA is the official catechetical program for adults in the diocese. And during the period of Lent we follow the period of scrutinizes. We agreed that the children should be 16 years of age when they are accepted for confirmation.
The diocese is issuing just now its catechetical diocesan policy.
15. We are building and blessing churches in the following places:- Rhasheni, Nqhume – Flagstaff; St Calistus – Hardenburg, St Anthony’s in Makwaseng, at Pamlaville in Chibini, at Lubaleko near Makhoba, Vema and Diamond in Bizana, Mkata, Ngozi and Qawukeni in the parish of Lusikisiki. Gogela, the hope place of Bishop – elect of Eshowe, Monsignor Kumalo must also be considered.
16. On the 28th of November the Little Servants of Mary Immaculate in Matatiele concluded a very successful year with a concert for the parents of their children. We also welcome Sister Nodoli Mbanjwa who is 2nd Novitiate Novice preparing to take vows in Zambia
17. Fr Thabang is doing much to revive the Legion of Mary. By supporting meetings, bringing the leaders together and by offering retreats, Fr Thabang has brought this wonderful sodality back to life. We must remember that many of the missions in our diocese were built basically by the work of dedicated Legionaries and by the priests who supported them. They are particularly strong in Bizana, Matatiele, Hardenberg and Chibini.
18.The Bishop attended the ordination of Fr Michael Wurstenberg to the diocese of Aliwal North.
It is with great joy that the Diocese of Kokstad received the news of the appointment of Monsignor Thaddeus Xolelo Kumalo as Bishop of Eshowe. The new bishop is from Gogela in the parish of Kokstad but he is incardinated for many years in Bethlehem.
19. The Bishop also attended the National Convention of the St Anne’s Sodalities in Swaziland. Our diocese was represented by Fr Lucas Bambezela, Mrs Anna Mbopheni, Mrs Jansen and Mrs Anna Hlobo.
20. The Bishop also attended the celebrations for Misereor, this is the German’s Bishops Lenten Appeal. Miserior has sent billions of Rands to the church in other countries since 1958. This year it is 50 years old and the launch of this year’s lentan appeal in Germany featured the celebration of the Mass at Regina Mundi in Johannesburg on live German Television.
21. We remember that this year is the 150 year celebration of the apparition of Mary at Lourdes, the actual day was the 11th of February which is the traditional Worldwide church day of the sick. Perhaps, we should make special efforts this year to care for the sick and invoke Mary’s intercession for them.
22. Already this year we have had 72 young people , parents and friends working in the diocese for two weeks. They came from Dublin in Ireland. They built two foster homes in Makhoba; they worked in Franklin, supplying a kitchen there helping the sick, visit the villages with the help of Fr Tom – who has become their hero and mentor. They worked also in Lusikisiki, Flagstaff and visited many schools bringing Irish music and learning the music of South Africa. This was a great help to us but also a wonderful education for these young people who are still at school in Ireland.
23. It is with great joy that our convents and parishes are able to watch Television EWTN. Here we get excellent Catholic programs 365 days of the year. Everyone should try and have this station as it offers us something for our spirit during the year. We can also follow papal ceremonies here.
24. We had an excellent meeting in February of the adult leaders of the Masolenyana of the Diocese. 35 leaders met under the chairmanship of Sister Vianney. They have now a program for the year. Likhabiso Panneng who is an excellent singer with a good knowledge of liturgy is available to Masolenyana in the parishes throughout the diocese if invited to offer them formation and training.
25. Sister Natalia represents a group called Friends in Ireland. They are building a hospice in Lusikisiki to care for little children who are abandoned or who are getting treatment at the hospital for their illness. This will be more of Care centre rather than an orphanage. Friends in Ireland are also caring for vulnerable children at Chibini under the guidance of Sr Constantia. With Fr Tom’s help they have found a Creche in Franklin and added class-rooms to the school there. They are also at Nomlacu and at Flagstaff. The Flagstaff project is under a special board in the area of Chief Faku.
26.Br Herman continues with the Agricultural Projects in many areas throughout the diocese. Brother has helped people who are keen to do something for themselves to have good food, to learn how to produce vegetables and food for their table and for the market. Brother Herman oversaw the establishment of pumps in three different areas of Bizana and also at the Mission in Kokstad. It seems that Kokstad is having an almost total water shortage this Winter. Hopefully we will have water from a new water hole which is a 173 m deep and gives 1300 litres an hour.
27. We rejoice that a daughter of our Diocese Sister Callista has been appointed Provincial of the Daughters of Charity at Matikwe. We promise her our full help and we rejoice that Sister Beauty has been sent by her to care for Catechism teachers and that Sr Nomsa, whose home is Flagstaff, is coming to take responsibility for the catechetical programs around Hardenberg.
28. RESPOND will built some training centres, extend our church in Shayamoya and offer skill centres in Shayamoya, Bizana and Hardenberg. It is them who gave us at the beautiful offices for Sinosizo at the cathedral and are now extending that work. Their very helpful and kindly representative here whom we welcome is Niall Mac Abacin.
29. Resolutions for the SACBC Plenary session.
a. The conference resolves that the investigation into the cause of the beatification of the Servant of God Benedict Daswa from the Diocese of Tzaneen should proceed with the support of the conference.
b. The Conference called the faithful of Botswana, South Africa, Swaziland and Zimbabwe to engage to a prayerful campaign for the church and people of Swaziland and Zimbabwe to assist in efforts of Justice and Peace and Reconciliation. The Campaign should consist of a daily prayer for Justice Peace and Reconciliation. The Peace prayer for Southern Africa can be used.
c. The Conference discussed the reports of all the various offices and committees working throughout the country.
d. In response to a felt need the Bishops called for a National Youth office to be set up, to facilitate the communication between all catholic youth programs in the country.
e. The Department of Evangelization will continue to organize a National consultative Forum in August, the topic will be part of our DPC discussions.
f. The Conference mandated the executive to investigate the property of St Peters Seminary. It also asked Bishop Michael Colman to make available St Joseph Pastoral centre in Port Elizabeth as Interim premises for St Kizito Orientation seminary.
g. The conference resolved that a committee be appointed by the Departments of Seminary and Finance to find permanent premises for St Kizito.
h. Concerning the Vocations apostolate, the conference resolved that all Vocation Directors from the diocese of the conference be appointed for a minimum of five years to ensure continuity and stability.
i. All vocation Directors should be encouraged to attend workshop in 2009.
j. A National vocation team establish to actively promote the Diocesan Priesthood in the Conference Territory.
k. Money be made available from the Lenten appeal in 2008 for the printing of vocation material and for organizing the National Vocations Workshop in 2009.
30.Fr Francis Lemao will convene a meeting of a select committee to plan the diocesan pilgrimage to Maria Telgte which will take place on the night of the 4th of October, Saturday night. The committee will take into considerations the recommendations made and plan the program and personnel responsible for the night.
31. We welcome Sean Lowry who did so much to establish Sinosizo. I am giving you the personnel of Sinosizo so that the priests and sisters may do all they can to help them minister to the children, the sick and all who are in need. I thank Sr Christina for all the work done to get food and clothes for our people. With Winter around the corner we must think seriously of the poor, in serving them we serve Christ Himself.